Garden to Vase: Cutflower Growing Tips
At the supermarket you can get a bunch of celery or a head of lettuce for under a dollar, and when you buy large bags you can get apples, oranges, potatoes, etc. for just a few cents each. But there is one plant product that you still have to pay a premium for: cut flowers. Decent bouquets regularly cost $25 or more, and these are often treated with large amounts of insecticides that can be detrimental to the environment. If you find yourself buying flowers with any kind of frequency, than cut flowers are the most vital thing for you to grow yourself! Save money and preserve the environment—get your cutflower garden growing with these 7 simple tips:
1. Create a dedicated bed. You will be asking a high level of production from your cutting garden, which means you will want to feed and water these plants more frequently. Therefore it is convenient to have your cut flowers in their own bed.
2. Plant in rows rather than clusters. This gives your flowers enough room to “eat” and “drink” heavily—after all, it takes a lot of energy to create bloom after bloom!
3. Stagger your plantings for continuous bloom production.
4. Cut blooms promptly. This will encourage more rebloom, and it is better to harvest buds before they fully open—they will open a bit more in the vase. Cut your flowers in early morning or late evening, not during the heat of the day.
5. Keep your plants healthy by using sharp, clean tools to cut flowers.
6. Help your blooms last longer by re-cutting the stems under running water, then submerging them in water and flower preservative. These steps kill bacteria that would spoil the flowers.
7. Avoid mold by changing the water in your vase frequently and keeping the vase in a low-humidity spot.
One of the best ways to create a gorgeous display in your vase is to start with a large, impressive bloom like Armani Peony, Queen’s Circle Tulip, or Starry Night Hibiscus.Then back up these big blooms with vertical color, like the spires of color with Delphinium or Beardtongue. Fill up the middle space with a symphony of textures, using the distinctive forms of flowers like Fritillaria, Columbine, or Epimedium. For that finishing touch, be sure to intersperse some delightfully fragrant blooms like Muscari, Lavender, Gardenia, or Magnolia. Once your flowers are truly spent in the vase, you can still enjoy their beauty a while longer if you dry them out! The substantial blooms of flowers like Echinacea are ideal for this process.